Stone Walls, Personal Boundaries, Mariana Cook, 2011

Stone Walls, Personal Boundaries

Mariana Cook


Texts by Wendell Berry (Author), Susan Allport (Author), Lucy Breathitt (Author), Thomas Cummins (Author), Robert Paxton (Author), Colin Renfrew (Author), Brendan Dunford (Author), Mariana Cook

Damiani Editore

Cook departs from her portrait work with Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries, a project that was conceived one day at her home on Martha's Vineyard, when 56 cows strayed through a crumbling section of the stone wall she shares with her neighbor. From this serendipitous moment of inspiration, Cook embarked on an eight-year journey, travelling from New England to the American South, Britain, Ireland, the Mediterranean and Peru in pursuit of dry stone walls. Far from being a conventional travelogue, these beautiful black-and-white photographs portray the wall in landscape, the wall as abstract form, and the return of rocks to nature. Cook is fascinated with the juxtaposition of stones as an instance of geometric composition, as well as with the resonance between walls of different cultures. With a tribute from Wendell Berry and essays providing a context for the walls of each region, the resulting collection captures a fundamental aspect of the relationship human beings forge with the land they inhabit.

"Sometimes inspiration arrives when you least expect it. That's certainly true for "Stone Walls: Personal Boundaries," the latest book by the photographer Mariana Cook. For eight years Ms. Cook took her two medium-format cameras and a tripod to places as far afield as Malta, Peru and the Aran Islands, searching for dry stone walls built without mortar but with plenty of patience and ingenuity." (Carol Kino The New York Times

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